When I first stepped into the grilling game, I really didn’t have a big budget to buy a grill worth paying for.
Adding to the woes was the fact that I lived in a small apartment with no patio or rooftop, so had no room to accommodate an outdoor grill.
But that didn’t stop me from cooking up some succulent grilled foods without even using a traditional grill. That said, here are some innovative ways to grill meat without a grill.
Table of Contents
- 1 5 Innovative Ways to Grill Meat or Chicken without a grill
- 2 What are the Drawbacks/Missing Elements of Grilling without a Grill?
- 3 Final Thoughts
5 Innovative Ways to Grill Meat or Chicken without a grill
1. Grill using Grill Pan
If you don’t have a grill but still would like to enjoy grilled foods, you can use your electric or gas stove for a cookout with a cast iron grill pan.
Grill pans do not have their own fuel sources but sit on top of your stove to grill food items. Some grill pans are fitted with a handle, and feature ridges at the bottom to allow the fat to drip off the food to prevent the meat from resting and cooking in its juices.
Another noteworthy benefit of using a cast iron grill pan is that they heat up fairly quickly and distribute heat evenly, allowing you to achieve great-looking grill marks and sear on the outside of your meat similar to a char from a traditional barbeque grill.
How to Use a Grill Pan?
- Grill pans are easy and simple to use and can be used over medium to high heat. Before getting started with a grill pan, you have to prep your meat and/or vegetables to ensure that they are cooked evenly in the pan.
- Next, warm the grill pan by placing it on the stove, and wait for 5 minutes to 10 minutes for the pan to warm up.
- One of the common mistakes that people make is putting oil directly in the grill pan, but this move can backfire, and cause the pan to smoke at extremely high temperatures.
What you should do instead of pouring oil directly into your grill pan is coat your meat or veggies in the oil before putting them into the hot grill pan.
- Place the meat in the grill pan at a 45-degree angle, and then at a 90-degree angle to achieve the perfect grill marks.
- After your food is grilled, it’s important to wash the grill pan thoroughly after each use to prevent staining and food contamination.
The Lodge grill pan is foundry seasoned and ready to use right out of the box. It is oven safe and provides unmatched heat retention and even heating.
2. Grill by Oven Broiling
If your oven has a broil function, you can use it to grill fish, meats, poultry, and vegetables. However, it’s worth mentioning that you won’t get those pretty grill marks, but you can get a decent char with a broiler.
Broilers offer intense heat, so you’ll be able to cook quick-cooking grilled recipes, and not slow recipes that require indirect heat.
How to use a Broiler for Grilling?
- If your broiler is located in your oven cavity, then set your rack anywhere between 4 to 8 inches away from the heat.
- Arrange the food items on the broiler pan or on a sturdy rimmed baking sheet.
- When broiling, it’s recommended that you leave the oven door slightly open, and check on the food frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.
- Pull the pan out, and flip the food once halfway through. Most meat items such as steaks and chops cook within 5 to 10 minutes.
If your oven didn’t come with a broiling pan, you can use the Range Kleen pan to get the job done. This two-piece utensil set is made from heavy-duty porcelain and is safe up to 1025 degrees F.
3. Grill using Smoky Ingredients
If you don’t want to buy any alternative appliances for grilling, you can simply use smoky ingredients to fake a grilled flavor.
You can use smoked salt or smoked paprika on meat and fish, or drizzle your vegetables with smoked olive oil.
How to Use Smoky Ingredients?
Mix one or several smoky ingredients in a bit of olive oil, and then add some honey or brown sugar.
Next, spread the mixture over the meat, place it in the fridge for 4 to six hours, and then broil or grill in a cast iron pan.
4. Grill using a Crock Pot
There are certain grill recipes that can be cooked in a crockpot, aka slow cooker. These include pork shoulders, pulled pork, briskets, and chicken thighs.
How to Use a Crockpot?
- Simply place the meat in the slow cooker, add some BBQ sauce, and smoking spices.
- Cook on low heat during the day or overnight, so that it’s ready when you’d like to serve the dish.
5. Grill using Liquid Smoke
Liquid smoke is available in an assortment of different flavors and is a great way to get the smoky flavor of a grill without a grill.
Liquid smoke is made from condensed smoke, and the liquid is filtered and concentrated to increase the smoky flavor.
How to Use Liquid Smoke?
- To use liquid smoke, brush some onto your steaks, burgers, or sausages before and during cooking.
What are the Drawbacks/Missing Elements of Grilling without a Grill?
Even though the aforementioned grilling alternatives do work well, they aren’t the deal., so will not provide you with a 100 percent grilling experience or flavor.
The first thing to understand is the flavor of grilled foods stems from myriad different factors such as a mix of charred food and brown food.
Grilling on a regular grill also adds smokiness and a bit of bitterness to the standard array of flavors you taste from browned meats.
When cooking on a regular grill, there are two cooking methods involved—conduction and radiation. Grill pans only produce a small amount of radiation, so even though your steak will char in places where it’s in contact with the metal, it will barely brown where it’s not.
Another downside to the above-mentioned grilling alternatives is the lack of fat dripping from the meats onto the coals below.
When the fats drip on the coals, they vaporize and ignite, and then rise to leave deposits of flavorful compounds on the surface of your food. This however can cause flare-ups, but if controlled flare-ups can add a nice touch of flavor.
All in all, a grill pan, adding smoky flavors, or cooking on a broiler will deliver flavors that you can’t get from standard pans such as more char, and some smoke.
But a real grill, regardless of the type such as gas, charcoal, electric or infrared will get hotter and produce a better experience than any other alternative grilling cooking method.